A purple-black tart fruit, also known as Englishman's grape. The elder flowers in June in large, flat plates of flowerheads (called umbrellas) made up of many tiny cream-white flowers. The common elderberry is a shrub which grows wild in much of southeastern Canada and areas in eastern North America. Uncooked berries have a dark purple juice and are astringent and inedible. The purple-black fruit is used in pies, wines, jellies, jams, juices and soups, as well as a natural color in food products. The blossoms are used in wine making or can be deep fried.
September - October
The berries are considered ripe when the clusters begin to turn upside down. Avoid picking berries that have become over-ripe. Wash well and strip from the stalks using a dining fork. For safety reasons DO NOT use the leaves, bark or roots of Elder for consumption as they can be poisonous.
Use the fruit as soon as possible or keep it at a cool temperature for later use. Fruit in containers should not be held at room temperature for more than 2-4 hours as internal heating reduces quality and causes rapid spoilage.